Blind Damn Luck (by Len Winneroski)

220px-StarsintheskyI just finished reading Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow’s books,  A Briefer History of Time and The Grand Design. I have always loved physics and obtained a minor in physics from Central Michigan University. I mean isn’t it awesome that Einstein and Newton were able to show the world how energy is related to matter and the reason that apples fall to the earth through the derivation of elegant equations (E = mc2 and F = G (m1m2)/r2 respectively)?  It’s fun to stretch my mind to try to understand how time is affected by gravity. (1)  It’s amazing to me that through the study of the atom, and the particles that make up atoms, we have learned that God doesn’t play dice, but He created a Universe that apparently allows it. (2)

You don’t have to be a scientist to appreciate the breath taking beauty of stars and atoms. We live in an amazing Universe. In The Grand Design, Hawking and Mlodinow admit, “The emergence of the complex structures capable of supporting intelligent observers seems to be very fragile. The laws of nature form a system that is extremely fine-tuned, and very little in physical law can be altered without destroying the possibility of the development of life as we know it. Were it not for a series of startling coincidences in the precise details of physical law, it seems, humans and similar life-forms would never have come into being.”

It amazes me that many scientists can look at the facts of science and not see the fingerprints of God. I agree with my colleagues that the historical church has at times stuck its head in the sand when presented with clear and convincing scientific data. Today’s church understands that the earth is not flat and that the earth revolves around the sun and is not the center of the Universe. It’s clear that life has a tremendous propensity to adapt to its environment and I do believe that the strongest survive in nature. But to me the fact that life can adapt is good engineering and not proof that we can kill the Engineer. I mean who would buy a car that only worked in the sunlight or when the temperature was above 50 0 F? (3)

The power of the scientific method is that one can make an assumption (a hypothesis) about how something works and then run experiments to either prove or disprove the assumption. If the data shows that their assumption was wrong, intelligent people make a new assumption and continue running experiments until their experiments confirm their assumption. Once the assumption is confirmed with data, models can be created that can predict other truths that can be tested and confirmed or disproved. The data from these experiments is fed back into the model until the model can be relied upon to explain our observations and predict future observations. The problem with models however is that they are built from existing knowledge and they are always evolving as we learn new things. Physicists like Einstein and Hawking have been searching for one master unifying theory for years to explain everything from stars to atoms. Hawking would say that M-Theory is such a theory. These theorists would say that the human mind is the center of the Universe and that the concept of God was created as a crutch to explain away things that we don’t understand. They would say that belief in God or gods was OK for our ignorant ancestors but intelligent people should know better now than to put their faith in an imaginary God of the Universe.

Aristotle believed that maggots spontaneously generated out of nothing. Aristotle knew that if you leave meat out to rot you get maggots. Spontaneous Generation fit the data so everyone believed that it was the truth. It wasn’t until the 19th century that Louis Pasteur showed that maggots are not spontaneously generated. Because of Pasteur, everyone now understands that meat doesn’t make maggots – flies make maggots.

What is amazing to me is that some modern scientists are still propagating the idea of Spontaneous Generation. In The Grand Design, Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow state, “Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.” These scientists have created mathematical models that they believe has put the proverbial nails in the coffin for the idea of a Creator God. They say our existence itself proves that Spontaneous Generation of everything in the Universe must be true.

Even if we accept Multiverse theory, a 12-14 billion year old Universe, and evolution apart from the need for a Creator to explain the genesis and development of life, it takes a lot of faith to believe that the inherent order in the Universe was the result of blind damn luck. Hiding behind mathematical models that are difficult to understand is not a good substitute for common sense.

Look into the science of the stars. I agree that the elements were likely made through the process of fusion but how in the world can you look me in the eye and tell me that its blind damn luck that elemental carbon, oxygen and nitrogen just happened to segregate without being destroyed in the young earth shortly after the Big Bang to form carbon based life on the earth? Look me in the eye and explain the origin of chirality and how functional chiral proteins, DNA, RNA, and fatty acids were formed by blind damn luck. Look me in the eye and explain to me how these early chiral biomolecules just happened to organize into cells and tissues by blind damn luck. Look me in the eye and tell me that you truly believe that John Conway’s Game of Life is sufficient to explain the emergence of human intelligence. Look me in the eye and explain why love exists and why humans would chose death over life so that others could live. Prove to me that Jesus Christ wasn’t a historical figure who lived, died and was resurrected. Explain to me why millions of intelligent people over the years have dramatically changed the course of their lives because of their faith in Christ. No, I will not stick my head in the sand and accept spontaneous creation of the Universe. I refuse to be told that meat makes maggots. To me it’s just plain damn common sense to believe that a Creator is a better explanation for the genesis of the Universe.

(1) Two thumbs up for the movie Interstellar.

(2) Quantum Theory and the Uncertainty Principle teaches us that because of the extremely small mass, the exact location of an electron can never be known with certainty. Its location can only be described through probabilities. I guess elections have free will like humans.

(3) Those folks should buy a motorcycle.

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